Candidate Statements for Division 37. Society for Child and Family Policy and Practice

Please note that the submission of a candidate statement was voluntary, so not all candidates listed on the ballot will have a statement.

Candidate: Erlanger (Earl) Turner, PhD

Office: President-elect

Candidate Statement:

It is with great honor that I ask for your vote to serve as the next President-Elect of Division 37, Society for Child and Family Policy and Practice. As an early career psychologist, I have over 10 years of leadership experience throughout the American Psychological Association (APA). I am the immediate Past-Chair of the APA Board for the Advancement of Psychology in the Public Interest and have served in roles throughout divisions 45, 42, and 53. My research and clinical interests include ethnic minority mental health, assessment and treatment of child psychopathology, access to behavioral health services, and cultural competency. In addition to my clinical and research experience, I have been engaging in public education and advocacy through blogging and being a media expert for publications such as the New York Times and Washington Post.

As a psychologist, my passion is for public education and applying psychological science to the health and wellness of youth and their families. I am a member of several APA Divisions (37, 45, 42, 46, and 53) and the Association of Black Psychologists. As president of Division 37, my goal will be to advance our mission by promoting the work of the society and providing opportunities for members to engage in public policy through the use of emerging technologies. Feel free to visit my website for more information at www.drerlangerturner.com/apadiv37.




Candidate: Mindy Willing, PsyD

Office: President-elect

Candidate Statement:

Mindy Willing earned a doctor of clinical psychology degree at the University of Sydney in 2012 and a Master of Public Health degree from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in 2016. She has a research and clinical background in family-based approaches for preventing child maltreatment and youth violence and is currently working at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health on the Epidemiologic Catchment Area survey. Mindy co-chairs the Poverty Reduction Working Group at the National Prevention Science Coalition and sits on the Policy Committee at the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues.




Candidate: Iheoma U. Iruka, PhD

Office: Member-at-Large

Candidate Statement:

It is with great enthusiasm that I submit a statement for consideration for the APA Member-at-Large Task Force and Diversity Initiatives. I have observed the positive and powerful impacts APA has had on society. My scholarship is focused on the opportunity gap, family development, and early education systems, with a particular mission of using evidence to support policy and practice change that provide equitable opportunities for children to meet their potential.

I am the Chief Research Innovation Officer and Director at HighScope Educational Research Foundation. HighScope is a research and practice organization that first established the lasting human and financial value of early childhood education. My past and current leadership roles, including serving on a foundation board and various national committee, have provided me with the necessary experiences and temperament to meet all of the requirements of a leader on this board. My research and administrative responsibilities have resulted in my collaboration with diverse stakeholders from families to policymakers to community leaders, all with varying priorities and visions. These experiences, among others, stressed the importance of listening to diverse voices and providing evidence-based and informed research to support policy and practice.

Finally, I would bring to this division a passion and commitment to improving the lives of children and their families and communities through a racial equity and collective impact approach. It is with optimism for a highly productive and collaborative future that I submit this application to serve on the Division as a Member-at-Large Task Force and Diversity Initiatives.




Candidate: Mirian E. Ofonedu, PhD

Office: Member-at-Large

Candidate Statement:

I am honored to be nominated to run for the Member-at-Large: Task Force and Diversity Initiatives Coordinator of the APA Division for Child and Family Policy and Practice (Division 37). I am currently serving my second term as Division 37 Program Chair. I also serve as Division 37 liaison to the APA Committee for International Relations in Psychology (CIRP). I received my MSW in Social Work from the University of Maryland, School of Social Work and PhD in Psychology from the Capella University.

I am currently an Adjunct faculty at the University of Maryland School of Social Work and the Director of Training at the Maryland Center for Developmental Disabilities at Kennedy Krieger Institute in Baltimore Maryland. For the past 13 years, I have worked as a clinician and as a Research Manager at the Kennedy Krieger Institute. I serve on a number of board and committees related to social work and psychology.

I have a deep commitment to underserved youth particularly those who have been exposed to traumatic events and have conducted research on inner-city Black youth and mental health and treatment engagement of underserved families and young children with behavior problems examining the psychosocial and cultural factors that influence urban youth and family mental health treatment engagement and service utilization to better inform policy and intervention programs. Thank for casting your vote in this election. I hope that you will give me the privilege of continuing my service to APA Division 37.